A PROBE has been launched after a gang of yobs hurled homophobic abuse and threats at two young boys.

A man hunt is underway to find the members of the group which became aggressive to the two victims in Lake Meadows park, Billericay last night at around 5pm.

A witness at the scene shared reports on social media of seeing around 20 yobs threatening a boy.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We received reports of a group of people acting aggressively towards and threatening two boys in Lake Meadows, Basildon shortly before 5pm on Thursday July 1.

"It was also reported the victims were subjected to homophobic abuse.

"The incident is being treated as a hate crime."

"If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

"Please quote incidents 858 and 968 of July 1.

"You can also call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The police do not believe any weapons were present during the incident.